By Sam Jack
Local soccer teams wrapped up their regular seasons last week and got ready for regional play, which started with play-in games on Monday, Oct. 25.
The Eisenhower Tigers beat Salina Central 2-0 on Tuesday, Oct. 19, then played to a 0-0 draw with Derby on Oct. 21.
The draw gave Eisenhower a 13-1-2 record for the season, along with the No. 2 overall seed in the Class 5A west bracket, behind 14-1-1 Maize South.
“Derby’s always tough to play,” said Tigers head coach Roger Downing. “They’re physical, and they play very direct, so it’s always hard to play against teams like that.”
Ryder Choura and Trey Harris had the goals in the Salina Central game. Braeden Boor and Noah Gonzalez had assists.
On Tuesday, the Tigers were slated to play the 4-11-2 Maize Eagles, who won a play-in game versus Topeka West, 7-0, on Monday.
This Thursday at 6 p.m., the winner of that game will face the winner of the Goddard versus Kapaun-Mt. Carmel game that was played at GHS on Tuesday.
The Goddard Lions hosted Arkansas City on Tuesday, Oct. 19, winning 10-0, then played to a 2-2 tie at Andover Central on Oct. 21. The Lions finished the regular season with an 8-6-2 record.
If the Lions and Tigers both win their regional first rounds, their rematch in the regional championship would be their third meeting of the season. The Tigers won each of the first two, but both games were competitive, with the first meeting decided on penalty kicks.
On Monday, the Campus Colts lost a regional play-in game at Wichita Northwest, 3-1, to conclude their season with a 4-11-1 record.
“We’ve just had one of those seasons where a lot of luck was not falling our way; unlucky situations,” Colts head coach Casey Reece said on Sunday, prior to the regional loss. “We’ve had a total of four games this season with all of our starters available, between quarantines and injuries. So, a lot of situations where we’ve got young, inexperienced guys that we’re throwing in there last minute.”
Reece said the win-loss record doesn’t tell the full story of his team’s achievements this season.
“We’ve played some of the toughest teams in the area, and the only team we just got blown out by was Maize South, which is a phenomenal team,” he said. “Our losses, it’s always just that one-goal loss.”
The score in that Maize South game, played Tuesday, Oct. 19, was 6-0. A couple of days later, the Colts ended the regular season at home with a 1-1 tie versus Hutchinson. Alaa Al-Amood scored a header goal off of a corner kick to tie the game with less than a minute to play. Aaron Treto had the assist.
“We weren’t able to come up with another one to secure the win, but still just really happy with the way the guys played,” Reece said. “It was a big, emotional night, senior night.”
If the Lions or Tigers win their regional, they will play in a quarterfinal match on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The quarterfinal winners go to State, Nov. 5-6 at the Stryker Complex in Wichita.